Worried about your Prostate?
Early stage prostate cancer is usually without symptoms. Before the current screening tests men tended to present with symptoms which are generally associated with troublesome conditions caused by the enlargement of the prostate. In some cases it was discovered that the man had both an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. With modern day tests these early stage cancer tumours are found using blood tests followed by biopsy. Late stage or advanced prostate cancer is more likely to show symptoms.
If you have any concerns about your prostate or any of the issues referred to in this booklet please talk to your family doctor about your concerns.
She/he may ask you questions about symptoms such as:
- Why are you concerned?
- Are you having any difficulties passing urine?
- Have you seen any blood in your urine?
- Are you having difficulty emptying your bladder?
- Are you having to get up at night to urinate?
- Have you any pain and, if so, where?
- Have you been running a temperature?
- Is your sexual function affected?
- Did anyone in your family have prostate cancer?
The answers you give to these questions will help the doctor decide on the next step, if any, to recommend to you.
Your doctor will also want to check your family history and other relevant factors before advising you on your next steps. The doctor may suggest that you should have a simple blood test called a PSA test. If your doctor thinks your PSA result is higher than it should be, for your age, then you may be referred to a specialist for a biopsy or your symptoms may indicate that you have a bacterial infection of your prostate and that you need a course of antibiotics. If you are of African or Afro-Caribbean origin your risk of contracting prostate cancer is higher than for those of European ancestry.
Most men who have biopsies do not have prostate cancer. A higher than normal PSA result may be due to a non-malignant enlarged prostate or due to an infection of the prostate.
Most biopsies are negative for prostate cancer. But where a cancer is confirmed many men will have the low risk form of the disease.
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